Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ames Library - Illinois Wesleyan University - Bloomington, IL

Here's another example. Illinois Wesleyan University has a student population of 2100. The library was build 10 years ago and contains 16 group study rooms and 6 project rooms, which contain projection and other equipment and need to be reserved. Students are asking for even more rooms.

The first floor contains almost no books. I talked to a librarian and he explained that they had recently cleared the books from the floor to provide more space for students. They were not able to afford more nice furniture like what they bought when they first built the library, but they got some donated from State Farm, which has its corporate headquarters in Bloomington. The first floor does still have the current periodical collection and Popular Reading. The rest of the space has a reference desk (no open reference collection), computers, comfy seating, tables and group rooms. The computer lab is open for student use, if there is no class scheduled. Some people like to study in an enclosed space. In the middle of the first floor there is a rotunda with a display of Native American pottery gathered by John Wesley Powell and his students in the late 1800's. I do have to note that they do not have a cafe.

The lower level has an auditorium, which we used and I found to be very nice, but I understand it is underused.

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